Tend Your Brand Garden

Several years ago, my wife and I lived in a rural home where we had a few animals and a massive vegetable garden. We grew everything from tomatoes, corn and peas to squash, carrots, beans, and just about anything else we could freeze or can for the coming year. It was a lot of work but the benefits were huge. The quality and flavor were much better than what we could buy at the grocery store.

The lessons learned from our gardening experience were great as well. A successful Gold Coast Removals requires much more than simply sticking a seed in the ground and wishful thinking. As with many life lessons, our gardening experiences are easily transferable to what we now do every day – marketing communications and public relations.

Walton family lessons in successful gardening and marketing communications

Once you develop a list of the veggies you wish to grow, you need to do a little research and planning to understand the best growing environment for each plant. Which veggies do you like? Will they grow in your location? What is their growing season? What are their specific needs?

Likewise with marketing communications, it’s very important to fully identify your target audiences, their needs and expectations, and how best to reach them in a memorable way. Notice I didn’t mention what you want to say to them. I’ll get to that next.

A successful vegetable garden requires careful preparation. Some plants require very deep soil tillage while others will do quite well in a shallow seed bed. Plus, soil fertility needs vary from one plant to another. Preparing the soil is crucial to a successful crop year.

Similarly, successful marketing messages are prepared in order to assure that it appeals to the audience. What you want to say must be in balance with what the audience wants to hear.

Veggie gardens are designed in to take advantage of sun, shade, water and fertility. For most plants to thrive and produce, their placement in relation to one another must be well thought out. You can’t just plant anywhere. There is an art and science to gardening. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can mess up the entire garden.

At Brand Acceleration, our brand strategists and media experts, like master gardeners, very diligently consider the best places to plant our client’s message in order to successfully grow their brand in the minds of the target audience. Similarly, our public relations team works closely with writers, editors and news directors to plant a message within their stories.

Care and Nutrition
When we were tending our garden, we knew that regular feeding and watering resulted in healthier plants and more abundant yields. Too little nutrition and water resulted in poor yield and too much could harm or kill the plant.

Healthy brands require careful attention, too. If you do little or no outbound marketing communications, your brand could produce very poor results or even die. And, random efforts such as ads placed only in “special editions,” are often a waste of money. Like the tortoise and hare story, savvy marketers enjoy great success with a well thought out plan intended to grow brand awareness over time.

We sometimes found that we had an abundance of vegetables to pick. Even in the summer heat, we had to get out to the garden and work our back sides off in order to harvest, can and freeze everything before it rotted.

It’s also important for sales teams to capitalize on the benefits of the hard work put in by the marketing folks and the advertising and public relations agency. I’m always amazed when someone says, “we didn’t get any calls from that ad.” My response is always the same, “how many calls did you make?” You can’t place an ad and then just sit and wait for the phone to ring. It doesn’t that way. Our goal is to grow brand awareness so that when your sales people call a prospect, they find an open, aware and interested audience. That, my friend, is the harvest.

Enjoy the Bounty
Each fall and winter, we would get great enjoyment from the literal fruits of our efforts. We fully understood that the fruit and veggies that lined our pantry and filled our freezer were the direct result of our research, planning, and hard work. None of it came from procrastination, overcautious inaction or wishful thinking.

Marketing communications is exactly the same. You can research, plan, execute and enjoy, or you can wait, ponder, wish and hope. Only one approach will generate positive results.

Starting Over
At the end of the growing season, we would enjoy a piece of cherry pie (yes, we had a cherry tree) and discuss what worked well and what should be changed. We would then till the garden, fertilize and make plans for the following year.

An effective marketing communications plan needs to be reviewed, adjusted and carefully planned for the coming year. As we move toward autumn, it’s time to get the sales, marketing and executive team together to make plans and set goals for 2011. If we can ever be of service in this process, I hope you’ll give me a call. We’d love to be part of your gardening team.

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